Update on the latest business

Posted 3:30 a.m. Tuesday


Asian stocks mostly lower amid US, Japan central banks wait

Asian shares were mostly lower Tuesday amid a nervous wait for potential policy moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fluctuated to finish down 0.2 percent at 16,492.15. Japanese markets were closed Monday for a national holiday. South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 percent to 2,025.71. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.2 percent to 23,510.99. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.2 percent to 3,019.62. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2 percent at 5,303.60. India's Sensex lost 0.4 percent to 28, 535.24.

The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 3.63 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 18,120.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.04 points to 2,139.12. The Nasdaq composite fell 9.54 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,235.03.


Business and economic news scheduled for Tuesday

Expect more speculation on what the Federal Reserve will do with interest rates to drive the stock market today. Policy makers begin their two-day meeting to set rates this afternoon, with an announcement expected tomorrow.

Meanwhile, one economic report is due out from the government today. The Commerce Department will reveal how many homes developers broke ground on last month. New-home construction has been on the upswing, with July reaching the strongest pace in six months. Still, future gains could be limited, as housing starts have begun to outpace permits to build in the future.


Wells Fargo CEO preparing to apologize to Senate committee

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf is preparing to apologize to Congress after allegations that bank employees opened millions of unauthorized accounts to meet aggressive sales targets.

The mea culpa comes in prepared testimony obtained by The Associated Press for Stumpf's appearance Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee. Stumpf says he is "deeply sorry" that the bank failed to fulfill its responsibility to customers. He also said he wanted to apologize for "violating the trust" that customers invested in Wells Fargo and not doing more sooner to address the causes of what he called "this unacceptable activity."

California and U.S. regulators fined San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. a combined $185 million last week, and the consumer banking giant has said it plans to eliminate the sales targets by Jan. 1.


Wal-Mart completes deal for

Wal-Mart says it has completed its deal to buy fast-growing online retailer for $3 billion in cash plus $300 million in stock.

The announcement late Monday came from Wal-Mart's CEO Doug McMillon via his Instagram account.

The hefty price tag shows how heavily Wal-Mart is willing to invest in order to attract younger and more affluent customers to drive online sales, which totaled $13.7 billion last year.

As part of the deal, which was announced in early August, co-founder and CEO Marc Lore will oversee both that site and and will report to McMillon. Lore brings to the role a rich e-commerce resume as founder of Quidsi, the parent, which was bought by Amazon for $500 million in 2010.


GM, Canadian workers reach deal to avert strike

General Motors and the Canadian auto workers union Unifor have reached a tentative contract agreement, averting a strike that threatened to begin at midnight Monday.

Union President Jerry Dias says the deal brings new products to the Oshawa assembly plant near Toronto and an engine plant in St. Catherines, Ontario.

About 4,000 workers at the two plants had been poised to go on strike if an agreement hadn't been reached.

Dias says those workers will get pay raises and lump sum payments. He says the only thing the union gave up was a defined contribution pension plan for new hires.


Feds want to regulate drivers when the driver is the car

Obama administration officials say the federal government, rather than states, should be in charge of regulating self-driving cars since the vehicles are essentially controlled by software, not people.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says states have historically set the rules for licensing drivers, but when the driver becomes a computer "we intend to occupy the field here." He said states should stick to regulating human drivers and questions of liability.

Administration officials laid out the broad outlines of guidance to automakers and states in a conference call with reporters. They said greater detail would be provided at a news conference Tuesday.

Automakers would also be allowed to self-certify the safety of autonomous vehicles while following a 15-point government blueprint.


AAA research finds people waste money on premium gas

Automobile club AAA says there's no sense paying a premium for premium gasoline if your car is designed to run on regular.

The club did research showing that premium didn't increase horsepower or fuel economy. It also didn't reduce emissions or clean engines any better than regular gas.

Some drivers occasionally like to treat their cars to higher-octane fuel in the belief it boosts performance. Premium blends can cost around 50 cents per gallon more than regular.

But AAA says that's money out the tailpipe. In a national survey on gasoline use, it found that 16.5 million U.S. drivers spent $2.1 billion they didn't need to in the past year on premium gas.


Kellogg recalls some Eggo waffles over listeria fear

Kellogg Co. is recalling about 10,000 cases of its Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles because they could be contaminated with the bacteria listeria.

Listeria can cause serious and even deadly infections. It primarily affects the elderly, pregnant women, newborns and people with weak immune systems.

The Battle Creek, Michigan company said Monday it has received no reports of illnesses. Kellogg says it learned of the potential problem after routine tests.

The waffles — available in 10-count packs with "Used by" dates of Nov. 21, 2017 and Nov. 22, 2017 — were sold in 25 states. Other Eggo Waffle flavors and sizes are not being recalled.


Lawyer for victims: Recklessness led to building collapse

A lawyer for the victims of a Philadelphia building collapse that killed six people and injured 13 others inside a thrift store says a long chain of recklessness caused the tragedy.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports ( ) lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi said in Monday's opening statements the two cut-rate contractors convicted in the collapse were clueless and negligent but "so was everybody else involved."

The defendants include the owner and architect of a building that collapsed as it was being demolished and buried people in rubble inside the adjacent Salvation Army store. The Salvation Army is being sued for keeping the store open during the June 2013 demolition.

The judge had barred parties and their lawyers from talking to reporters during jury selection. The defense will have opening statements Tuesday.

The contractors are serving lengthy prison terms.


Analysts cite Clinton's illness in new plunge by Mexico peso

Economists have long said that when the United States catches a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia.

But analysts now say that Hillary Clinton's pneumonia has given Mexico's peso something worse.

The peso broke the psychological barrier of 20 pesos per dollar Monday, and analysts and commentators cite the role of the U.S. presidential campaign.

A Banco Base analysis says the strength of Republican candidate Donald Trump influenced the peso. Mexico newspaper columnist Carlos Loret says Democrat candidate Clinton's health problems are key.

Trump has been critical of Mexico and the trade agreements its economy relies on.

Oil prices were once cited in the peso's decline, but they have risen somewhat from this year's earlier lows.

The U.S. has an outsize influence on Mexico's economy, buying about 80 percent of Mexico's exports.


L'Oreal building solar projects at Arkansas, Kentucky plants

Cosmetics maker L'Oreal USA is building thousands of solar panels at manufacturing facilities in Kentucky and Arkansas, a move the company says will help cut carbon emissions and create two of the biggest solar-powered projects in each state.

The subsidiary of the L'Oreal Group said Tuesday it plans to install 5,000 solar panels at its Florence, Kentucky, plant and another 4,000 at its North Little Rock, Arkansas, plant, with both projects expected to be operational by the middle of next year. The company said the Kentucky project will be the largest commercial solar array in that state and the North Little Rock project will be Arkansas' third largest commercial array.

The projects are being developed by Little Rock-based Scenic Hill Solar.


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